This is a get-away-from-the-heat event in the Gila Wilderness.
First we visit the Cliff Dwellings.
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is located in the Gila Wilderness within the Gila National Forest. The monument is on a location of 553 acres. The cliff itself was created by volcanic activity. The cliff contains the ruins of interlinked cave dwellings built in five cliff alcoves by the Mogollon peoples. People of the Mogollon culture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mogollon_culture) lived in these cliff dwellings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cliff-dwelling) from between 1275 and 1300 AD (Pueblo III Era (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pueblo_III_Era)), which is the only location that contains Mogollon sites. Archeologists have identified 46 rooms in the five caves, and believed they were occupied by 10 to 15 families. The dwellings were a perfect place for human living. The caves provided adequate shelter, while the wooded area concealed the homes. Impressively, the wood found in these shelters has proven to be original. Dendrochronology (tree ring dating) determined that the wood used in the dwellings was cut down sometime between 1276 to 1287. The nearby area also provided for growing and finding food.
Visiting the Dwellings up close is a one mile loop hike, with elevation gain of about magnificent 200 feet.
The entrance fee for the Cliff Dwellings is $3 per person.
After the visit of the Cliff Dwellings, we will visit the nearby Lake Roberts. Lake Roberts is one of three man-made lakes in the Gila National Forest, with fish jumping, birds fishing in summer days.
We will find a picnic area and park ourselves. We may walk around a bit, to better hear the hummingbirds humming, pines murmuring; watch the fish jumping, the sun shimmering. What else are we going to do? Nothing. Just to enjoy the time, enjoy nature, stay lazy in a cool place in a dog summer day.
The whole distance of the two activities could vary. Something like 4-5 miles? Depends on how much effort we feel like to put in.
So, come one, come all! Lets make this pretty much everyone can enjoy trip!